Today I thought it would be helpful to talk about 5 common infidelity myths that can prolong betrayal grief for women after discovering infidelity in marriage.
Although there are certainly more infidelity myths out there than the ones I'm covering in this article, these 5 tend to do a lot of damage to a woman's self-esteem.
These 5 myths can cause unnecessary emotional pain for you and that's the last thing you need when trying to overcome infidelity grief.
So, are you ready to start our exploration of the 5 infidelity myths that prolong betrayal grief after discovering infidelity in marriage?
If so, read on:
Infidelity Myth 1| It's your fault that he became involved with someone outside your marriage. You obviously didn't treat him right, otherwise he wouldn't have turned to someone else. (Do you detect major "blame the victim here?")
While this could be the case, it's certainly not always the case. This does not apply to all situations.
Let's look at this infidelity myth a little more:
- Some affairs can be explained by the existence of problems between the two of you, but others can not. Affairs do happen in very happy marriages. Some men will have an affair, yet say that they are still in love with their wife and would never want to leave her.
- Some affairs are the result of not guarding one's heart or avoiding risky situations that lead to gradually crossing a line and moving towards infidelity. A friendship can gradually grow beyond a friendship, one small step at a time. This has nothing to do with you or your marriage.
Even in the affair that gradually crosses a line, there is still a choice to keep moving forward and to ultimately keep it secret.
He is always responsible for his own choices.
Infidelity Myth 2 | His relationship with his affair partner is so much better than the one he has with you. They may even feel they are soulmates who are meant to be together.
In actuality, what he is experiencing during his affair is the initial, Romance Stage of a relationship. Everything about a relationship feels wonderful and PERFECT during this stage.
As Dr Susan Campbell's work with hundreds of couples revealed, there are 5 possible relationship stages couples go through:
- The Romance Stage
- The Power Struggle Stage
- The Stability Stage
- The Commitment Stage
- The Co-Creation/Bliss Stage
Not all couples make it through these stages before the relationship ends.
Often couples break-up or divorce during the Power Struggle Stage because it is so challenging to overcome the emotional pain and conflict this stage evokes.
They simply do not move on to the Stability Stage.
If you'd like to read more about the 5 Relationship Stages, there is an excellent article written by Bruce Muzik here: http://www.loveatfirstfight.com/relationship-advice/relationship-stages/
When it comes to an affair, most stay in the Romance Stage. They do not get past that stage, and instead, fall apart.
The newness, the excitement, the lack of dealing with everyday routines and responsibilities that face all long-term relationships are absent in the Romance Stage.
The affair relationship does not deal with the reality of a normal relationship - One which contains emotional pain, conflict, and the challenges of the second relationship stage, The Power Struggle.
And for this reason, many affairs are unable to survive reality outside of the "fantasy bubble" of the Romance Stage.
Affairs are easy relationships.
They are shielded from the demands of commitment, conflict, challenges, and day-to-day responsibilities.
There is really no comparison between his affair and your marriage: It's like comparing apples to oranges.
Infidelity Myth 3 | Most men are only seeking sex from the affair, and therefore, you weren't good enough in bed or didn't give enough to him sexually.
This myth can cause you to feel sexually inadequate, but like all infidelity myths, this one is not necessarily true.
We are made for attachment and emotional bonding.
And men do have affairs that are purely emotional in nature.
This is not to say that men never pursue affairs for sex. This is the case when it comes to one night stands, prostitutes, and strip club visits.
However, even in this case, sex can activate emotional bonding. What starts as a sexual relationship can potentially evolve into an emotional, romantic one.
Infidelity Myth 4 | Once a cheater, always a cheater.
This myth can cause infidelity grief to be prolonged, because believing this will leave you always looking over your shoulder for when the next shoe is going to drop.
It can evoke fear, pain, panic, and distrust. Which will make it very challenging to rebuild your bond and marriage.
Not every man who is unfaithful once, will be unfaithful twice.
You may end up being one of the couples who discovers a deepening emotional bond as you both work towards open communication, quality time together, affection, sexual fulfillment, and the creation of a new marriage foundation.
Infidelity Myth 5 | Learning ALL of the details of the affair will help you heal.
You totally deserve to know what is happening in your own marriage. There is no question about this.
Secrets kill intimacy.
When it comes to infidelity in marriage, it's very important that the truth about the affair comes out into the open. Secrecy needs to be reversed so you can begin to form an open, intimate relationship with your husband.
But how much is too much when it comes to the hearing the details of his affair?
Always be mindful that the details you hear, have the potential to traumatize you. There is no turning back once that door is opened.
The infidelity details have the potential to shatter your heart further.
Not all details are supportive of your healing. Some move beyond the basics you need to know.
Like everything else regarding affair recovery, you want to be thoughtful about how you proceed with your details request.
Some helpful things to consider:
- Will the answers you want, potentially make you feel bad about yourself?
- If so, do you consider it worth taking the risk and asking anyway?
Having basic information like:
- When it started.
- How it started.
- How long it was going on.
These are things you deserve to know.
Asking if she was better in bed than you, on the other hand, may not be so helpful for you to know.
As I said earlier in this article, all 5 of these infidelity myths can potentially create prolonged infidelity grief for you.
There are so many variations to how infidelity unfolds. Your situation is unique, as is your marriage.
I hope this exploration of the 5 infidelity myths helps you consider how they fit with your situation.
As always . . .
I wish you hope and healing,